Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri Says He Won’t Seek Reelection in 2022

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri Says He Won’t Seek Reelection in 2022” – below is their description.

    Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri said Monday he will not seek reelection, making him the fifth Republican in the Senate to bow out rather than seek another term in a party searching for direction after President Donald Trump.

    Blunt, who turned 71 in January, was widely expected to seek a third term in 2022. Before election to the Senate he served seven terms in the U.S. House. He also served two terms as Missouri’s secretary of state from 1985 to 1993.

    “In every job Missourians have allowed me to have, I’ve tried to do my best,” Blunt said in his announcement made via video. “In almost 12,000 votes in the Congress, I’m sure I wasn’t right every time, but you really make that decision based on the information you have at the time.

    “After 14 General Election victories — three to county office, seven to the United States House of Representatives, and four statewide elections — I won’t be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate next year,” he said.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Blunt’s retirement “a loss for the Republican conference and the entire Senate.”

    “In just 10 years in this body, he’s quickly become a true leader, a policy heavyweight, and a driving force behind both key conservative victories and essential bipartisan work,” McConnell said in a statement.

    Blunt’s Missouri colleague, Republican Josh Hawley, called Blunt “a Missouri institution.

    “A consummate legislator, Roy has worked tirelessly for the state he loves and has served Missourians with distinction,” Hawley said in a statement.

    Blunt is the No. 4 in Senate Republican leadership. The five Senate Republicans not seeking reelection could set up contested primaries highlighting divisions between far-right, Trump-aligned Republicans and the old guard of the party. The others are Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rob Portman of Ohio, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Richard Burr of North Carolina.

    Two other Republicans — Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — have not yet said whether they plan to seek reelection.

    In Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, in particular, Democrats have hopes of winning seats. Of the remaining three, Missouri and Ohio have both trended Republican in recent years, and Alabama should be safe for the GOP.

    It’s not clear whether Trump-induced Republican turmoil is playing a major role in Senate retirements so far. While he has generally supported Trump, Blunt has broken with him occasionally.

    Like most Republican senators, he voted against Trump’s effort to upend his November election loss. He also opposed Trump’s veto of last year’s sweeping defense policy bill, and backed a failed effort to prevent Trump from unilaterally shifting money to border wall construction.

    Of the five announced retirees so far, four are age 65 or older and all have been in Congress for a decade or more. Ohio’s Portman said he had wearied of the intense polarization of today’s politics, but none of the others publicly suggested the political atmosphere contributed to their decisions.

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